I'm not too ashamed to admit it, but I am a fan of the Olympics. I've noticed that this year I'm in the minority. Maybe I have always been in the minority and never realized it, but this year seems worse. As Dylan and I sat on the couch this evening and watched the events, I think I know why that even I'm not too terribly excited with the 20th Winter Games from Torino.
1) I know the results to everything we watch in prime time. If I were home watching the games live on USA and MSNBC and CNBC and every other NBC network, there might be more excitement. Clearly having a tape delay due to time zones takes the suspense out of it. I remember watching Curling from Salt Lake because it was live and had suspense.
2) All of our "favorites" have really sucked this year. This has actually made it more interesting in some respects, but let's face it, I'd rather watch Americans winning, not stinking up the snow. Message to Bodie, Michelle and all the other big stories before the games started - might be time to think of retirement. Can anyone say "choke"?
3) NBC coverage has been so-so...Since all of the favs have been losing, they've needed to drum up interest with other stories. I'm tired of the speedskating team issues and the huge Canadian men's hockey flop. I remember when they used to do stories of poor Austrians who needed to ski to get to school (both ways uphill, mind you) and hunt for their dinner and how that would explain why they kicked butt at the Biathlon. I don't know, just doesn't seem like there is a lot of human interest, well - interest.
4) I've traveled to Europe a lot, and I've always been real conscious of the "Ugly American" view that many have for us there. I've seen my share of why that view is so prevalent. I think that's why events that have obviously been taylor made for us really bug me. I can't stand snowboarding, especially that board-X and half-pipe crap. Leave that for the X-Games.
I'm sure there's more that bugs me, there always is. Maybe the professionals have taken away some of the pure sport ("does anyone remember miracles?")...I'll keep watching because I just don't want to ever miss that one instance of greatness that gets you all choked up and proud to be an American.